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1001 Children's Books You Must Read Before You Grow Up Hardcover – October 27, 2009

24 customer reviews

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100 Young Adult Books to Read in a Lifetime
100 Young Adult Books to Read in a Lifetime
Amazon's editors chose their list of the one hundred young adult books to read, whether you're fourteen or forty...Learn more
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This British import, a survey of influential children's books (part of the 1001 series and edited by the Guardian's children's books editor), offers a comprehensive and diverse compendium of more than a century's worth of essential reads. The compact and encyclopedia-thick format is divided into five age ranges. A review of each book is accompanied by original publication information (readers will have to research current availability, especially as some titles differ in the U.S. market) and themes, with cover and interior art interspersed throughout. Favorites like Bridge to Terabithia will satisfy traditionalists, while crossover books like Italo Calvino's The Baron in the Trees and international selections (for example, Swedish author Pernilla Stalfelt's The Death Book) will broaden the canon. An asset for all those who've caught—or never lost—the bug. (Nov.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


This latest addition to the acclaimed 1001 series is a guide to the best classic and contemporary children’s literature.

"A survey of influential children's books... An asset for all those who’ve caught—or never lost—the bug." ~Publisher's Weekly

“This 960-page, full-color hardcover is an excellent resource for parents, teachers and librarians, but it also includes just about every title I worshiped when I was younger –
and hundreds I still need to read.”

“This stimulating guide — inter­national in scope — includes many books you’ll be grateful to discover or revisit and many more that have been all but forgotten.” ~New York Times Book Review

"Finally, there is a reference book to end all reference books... This fat 960-page tome contains hundreds of the best chosen by great children's authors and critics... Organized by age and brilliantly illustrated, it also pops in all kinds of marvelous lists -- Silly Books, Great Collections of Fables, Recommended Books about Horses, More Great books about Granddads, Great War Books, Time-travel Tales and so on..." ~The Huffington Post

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 960 pages
  • Publisher: Universe; First Edition edition (October 27, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0789318768
  • ISBN-13: 978-0789318763
  • Product Dimensions: 6.8 x 2.4 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #114,733 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

57 of 61 people found the following review helpful By Book Lover on January 3, 2010
Format: Hardcover
As a children's book collecter (fiction, not picture books), I snapped this book up the moment I saw it.

The good - it reviews many wonderful children's books, including quite a number that are in danger of disappearing from memory. The 8+ section of the book contains many of the best children's books ever written, including The Phantom Tollbooth, Haroun and the Sea of Stories, Charlotte Sometimes, Tom's Midnight Garden, The Neverending Story (the REAL story, not the dreadful movie),and many others. Thank you to the authors - I hadn't realised my copy of From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs Basil E Frankweiler was missing and have now replaced it, just as my 8 year old daughter is old enough to love it.

The somewhat disappointing - there are books reveiewed that I would LOVE to read, but as I don't read in French, Swedish, Japanese or Finnish that pleasure is unlikely to come my way. Other reviewers may bemoan the anglo-bias of this collection, but I bemoan the inclusion of books in an English publication that can't be read in English!

The not so good - the omissions. A Candle in her Room, When Marnie was There, Summer of my German Soldier, The Great Gilly Hopkins, People Might Hear You ... just looking through one of the first shelves of books near me I can see some glaring omissions. (Yes, I know, there is a whole history of children's literature and only 1001 books that can be included!)

Then, too, there are some books that are not really children's books at all. When Hitler stole Pink Rabbit is a children's book and an excellent example of a book to introduce a dark period of history to an older child (say, 10 or so). However, Watership Down is not a children's book - as I can attest vigorously, having read it to terrifying effect as a child.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have always loved children's literature and have been collecting editions of favorite titles for some years now. Since I have a five-year-old child, I find myself enjoying children's literature even more, as I get to share favorite classics with her whilst also discovering new authors.

I like the quote attributed to Children's Laureate Michael Rosen in the Introduction, "I think of children's books as not so much for children, but as the filling that goes between the child world and the adult world. One way or another, all children's books have to negotiate that space." I think this beautifully sums up the essence of children's literature, and of the blurry lines between the adult world and the children's world, and how these lines change over time. For example, some works deemed inappropriate for children years ago, may be considered quite tame by today's standards.

The book itself has an index of titles at the beginning, which is arranged alphabetically. This is then followed with the 1001 list of children's books, organized in terms of age appropriateness (suggested age group, really), beginning with 0-3, 3+, 5+, 8+, and finally, 12+. At the end of the book there is an index by author/illustrator and a compilation of featured reviewers and picture credits (as far as possible, an attempt has been made to feature the first edition covers in the original language of publication).

The book does not only contain chidlren's books written in English, but a host of titles written in foreign languages such as French, Danish, German, and the Asian languages. This gives the book a universal appeal, though I imagine some of the foreign titles may be difficult to procure, especially if one is looking for English translations of these works.
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Stacy A. Taylor on December 11, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This book is beautiful! I love children's literature and this seems to be an excellent collection. It has many of my favorites growing up( "Goodnight Moon", " Where The Wild Things Are" etc) and many books I have loved reading with my kids ( "Don't Let the Pigeon Drive The Bus", "Harry Potter" "Skippyjon Jones" etc). We have a new family goal of reading all of these books with our kids. I personally love that it has books from all over the world because I like seeing other cultures through the lens of their children's books. I think it will take a long time to find and read all of the books, but I think that will be part of the fun.
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40 of 52 people found the following review helpful By pleureur. on December 2, 2009
Format: Hardcover
This gigantic book contains a wealth of suggestions, but it is very heavily weighted towards European children's books. There is an enormous diversity of European authors, from France to the Czech republic, with a few South American authors also included. However, (contrary to the product description) there really are not many authors or books with a theme representing African Americans or US residents of Latino descent (as opposed to current citizens of and conditions in Argentina), only a few such as "Snowy Day" appear on their list. There were a few Asian folktale collections representing ancient Chinese and Japanese cultures, but there was very little I saw in the book about the Indian subcontinent, the Middle East, or Africa. Additionally, there were many books that genuinely looked interesting to me, because I'd never heard of them before, but I discovered that many of the books (about half of those in the book) are not *at all* available in the US, and several that I tried to locate did not seem available in the UK either (even in used bookstores), so I found this book quite frustrating. It's not that useful to have a list of books that cannot be found.
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